Core Lab: Unraveling the History of Earth's Climate and Chemistry with Sediment Cores

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Resource Type:Classroom Activities; Curricula and Instruction
Grade Level:
11 12
Organization:Scripps Classroom Connection (SCC)
Summary:The Core Lab is an approximately 10-day activity to introduce the idea that we can use sediment cored as recorders of the history of Earth's climate and chemistry. In particular, we focus on sediment cores from the deep sea, since this represents the best archive for scientists studying Earth's climate. An initial PowerPoint presentation introduces basic concepts in Earth History and provides examples of the types of questions scientists might ask about Earth's past. Through the activity, students will build their own sediment cores to simulate different chemical and physical processes in Earth's history. There are also three separate lab activities that accompany the steps of building the core. students will learn that columns of sediment represent time and that properties preserved in the sediment can provide indirect evidence for some variable we want to measure.
Earth Science Big Ideas:Big Idea 1; Big Idea 2; Big Idea 4; Big Idea 5
NGSS Discplinary Core Ideas:ESS1.C; ESS2.C; ESS2.D
NGSS Performance Expectations:HS-ESS1-5; HS-ESS2-5
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:Engaging in argument from evidence; Planning and carrying out investigations
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:Patterns; Structure and function
Subjects: climate; earth; history; oceans
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